How Do Lawn Services Control Weeds So Effectively?

In a world where product usage is under scrutiny, and there are rightly more checks and balances on how plant protection products are selected and used, the control of weeds in lawns remains important to homeowners and us as a lawn service. 

Why is it that when working with a lawn service weeds become a thing of the past? This article contains the best answers I have to share...

1. Mowing Practices, Weed Control and a Lawn Service - The Relationship 

This first point has nothing to do with herbicides or a lawn service whatsoever - it is all about mowing. If you do nothing else, do this!

The irregular cutting of a lawn stresses the grass, which then leads to a lawn dying back. This is where weeds and moss are able to take advantage of the unoccupied soil. 

In our cool temperate climate, if there is light, water, soil and air, then something is going to grow there. So, lets make sure it is grass that grows by looking after what we have well first! 

Things to avoid are:

  • Taking more than a third off the grass height with any one cut
  • Mowing at a height of cut less than 25mm
  • A blunt mower blade 
  • Mowing your lawn for 48 hours either side of a weed treatment from a lawn service 

An infographic showcasing the need for good lawn mowing practices with working with a lawn service

2. Lawn Service Product Selection 

This is where having a partnership with a lawn service provides a homeowner with a huge advantage...

DIY products include a narrow range of active ingredients, at a basic level of concentration. These products are freely available to purchase and apply in your own garden. They commonly don't have an application rate (which haunts us!). Not only would it be easy to under-apply such a product to your lawn, but also very easy to over-apply - at the detriment to your grass. 

DIY products, even though they can be purchased by anyone, are not licensed for use by a gardener in a professional capacity. The risk/reward is for your own home only.

These products commonly don't have a maximum usage per year, which again, isn't a good thing. Weeds will become resistant if continuous use of chemical is your only plan of action, rather than taking preventative measures: See step 1! 

Yarrow weed in a lawn prior to lawn service
Selfheal weed in a lawn prior to lawn service treatment
Various weeds in a lawn prior to a lawn service application of a weed control

Example weeds that we have come across in our lawns which would either require hand removal, or professional application to control. These being from left to right:  Yarrow, Selfheal, and Lesser Trefoil with some easier to control Dandelions

Professional Products

A qualified and licenced lawn service will use differing professional selective herbicides to control the more difficult weeds in your lawn. They will have completed:

  • Their NPTC PA (pesticide application) 1 and 6 modules to qualify as a knapsack spray operator
  • Registration as a user of pesticides with DEFRA as per the Official Controls Regulations 2020
  • Their own COSHH assessments for the chemicals in question. Some weed controls will pose different hazards to others and be required at differing application rates
  • Their homework! Which active ingredient / combination will control which weed and it's likelihood of success
  • They MAY be BASIS Lawn Assured Accredited and have achieved the Amenity Standard to display their continuous professional development in the area

Investing in a professional lawn service means that you are not purchasing, storing, and using chemicals at home which are unlikely the best product (or application rate) for your lawn. A lawn service stores and transports chemicals in dedicated storage, with trained and aware technicians which should be keeping up with best industry practice. 

This is why professionals can gain great results when it comes to weed control in lawns. So much of it is in the preparation. 

BASIS Lawn Assured logo | Professional Weed Control

Ultimately, there will always be bad examples out there - people who are going about things incorrectly, lawn technicians that don't always get it right, gardeners making applications, and homeowners that are just unaware. My message is simply don't get caught up with a questionable company / person when things go wrong!

3. Timing and Method of Lawn Service Application

  • Weeds can only be controlled in lawns while they are actively growing. This means that dependent on the climate and location, weed control applications could be made much of the year, but would gain the best results April to August.

  • Liquid products are far more effective than granular, 'all-in-one' weed and feed style products. For these to work, the given granule will need to be in contact with the weed in question. These products can be effective in some situations where cost and speed is a factor, and gaining impressive control isn't vital. 

  • A lawn service will apply a weed control following completing a calibration of their sprayer as per their licence. This is the individual technician calculating their walking speed, spray width, and flow rate of the sprayer so exact target chemical rates can be hit. No more and no less for the job in hand. 

  • A lawn service will require a largely dry day without excessive wind speeds... (you may be starting to see why late-spring / summer works so well over other times of the year for weed treatments!). 

  • Finally, a lawn service will spot treat for weeds where is it practical to do so. Blanket-spraying for weeds doesn't aid the operator or the environment. A common mis-conception is that we are using a product which is a contact-herbicide - i.e. can only control the weeds that are present at the time. There are no pre-emergent weed controls for use in lawns in the UK due to their environmental impact.

    And... is there really a need anyway if the above is followed? 

Effective Weed Control via a Lawn Service

I fear this won't turn out to be one of my most riveting or most read blog posts to be honest! All the same, this information is vital within our industry even if it isn't the most sexy of content! 

Naturally I am going to be biased on this one, but not only do professional lawn services gain more effective control of weeds in lawns, it is very important that they do. As a younger company in the lawn care industry, I believe we are in a fantastic place for taking care of our team and our environment, minimising pesticide use AND still gaining excellent results on our lawns by doing things properly.

Chemicals are always going to be not only more effective, but safer too in the hands of a professional. Chemicals are not guaranteed to be with us forever unless they can be used properly - and that is where we come in. 

Get Pricing for Lawn Repair Services - 60 Second Quotation, 24/7

Head to our Instant Estimate feature where getting a quotation sent to your inbox is as easy as 1-2-3.

1) Complete your details

2) Click and drop the pin on your house

3) Use the mapping tool to trace your lawns for approximate measurement and hit submit

There is no ongoing contract – see our online reviews and results for yourself! If you’re not one for technology or there’s a few unanswered questions, then we’re available over the phone during usual office hours on 01827 826123.